When Nike and Tinker Hatfield introduced the crosstrainer to the sneaker market in the late ‘80s, they literally changed the way athletic shoes were bought and sold. Nike originally marketed the Air Trainer line as a sneaker that could do just about anything, eliminating the need to have different sneakers for running, basketball, weightlifting, turf/track training, and other sports. This meant that athletes were no longer required to plop down cash on multiple shoes suited for their various sporting needs, and there was no longer a need to lug around an extra pair (or more) as a back-up. The crosstrainer took care of it all, and before long, other brands caught on to the concept and began producing their own multipurpose trainers.
Today, crosstrainers remain one of the most prominent styles of performance sneakers around. Much like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders of the past, present day trainers are often endorsed by NFL superstars like Adrian Peterson and Cam Newton. But don’t let the football-centric marketing fool you; there are a handful of crosstrainers available that will perform well in a variety of activities. Unfortunately, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball shoes don’t apply due to their spiked outsoles. These are Apples and Oranges: How to Find the Perfect Crosstrainer for Your Two Favorite Sports.
Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things ’90s, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.